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Collimated ultrabright gamma rays from electron wiggling along a petawatt laser-irradiated wire in the QED regime.

Wang, Wei-Min; Sheng, Zheng-Ming; Gibbon, Paul; Chen, Li-Ming; Li, Yu-Tong; Zhang, Jie.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A; 115(40): 9911-9916, 2018 10 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30224456
Even though high-quality X- and gamma rays with photon energy below mega-electron volt (MeV) are available from large-scale X-ray free electron lasers and synchrotron radiation facilities, it remains a great challenge to generate bright gamma rays over 10 MeV. Recently, gamma rays with energies up to the MeV level were observed in Compton scattering experiments based on laser wakefield accelerators, but the yield efficiency was as low as [Formula: see text], owing to low charge of the electron beam. Here, we propose a scheme to efficiently generate gamma rays of hundreds of MeV from submicrometer wires irradiated by petawatt lasers, where electron accelerating and wiggling are achieved simultaneously. The wiggling is caused by the quasistatic electric and magnetic fields induced around the wire surface, and these are so high that even quantum electrodynamics (QED) effects become significant for gamma-ray generation, although the driving lasers are only at the petawatt level. Our full 3D simulations show that directional, ultrabright gamma rays are generated, containing [Formula: see text] photons between 5 and 500 MeV within a 10-fs duration. The brilliance, up to [Formula: see text] photons [Formula: see text] per 0.1% bandwidth at an average photon energy of 20 MeV, is second only to X-ray free electron lasers, while the photon energy is 3 orders of magnitude higher than the latter. In addition, the gamma ray yield efficiency approaches 10%-that is, 5 orders of magnitude higher than the Compton scattering based on laser wakefield accelerators. Such high-energy, ultrabright, femtosecond-duration gamma rays may find applications in nuclear photonics, radiotherapy, and laboratory astrophysics.
Selo DaSilva